Monday, August 12, 2013

Ruby on Rails Interviewing (part 1)

Since I am happily hired now, I thought I would spill the beans on my interviewing experience. Now all the things I say, none of them apply to my current employer Zip List.

When I first launched my site Josh's Site after 6 months of training/studying RoR, I was immediately offered 2 jobs on day 1. One job offer was for $40K the other for $35K. I of course passed. It took the next 2.5 months to finally get hired at an awesome company, but along the way, there was a TON of other interviews. In the stories you read I won't use the real companies name, as I don't want to offend or possible hurt my employment chances if I were to need them down the road :-)

The good news is, I averaged  around 3-4 phone screens per week and 1-2 second interviews, and usually I landed a final interview every 2 weeks. The first thing I learned was that recruiters will try to knock down your price if you don't have a degree saying things like: "How much?....oh, I don't know, you're going to be a kind of a tough sell without a degree...are you "flexible" on salary?"

Thankfully my mentor the great +David Bock gave me a warning that this probably would happen, and to stick to my guns, he evened helped me figure out what ball park figure I should be asking for.

Thanks to +Americo Saviñón I started a LinkedIn profile and per his recommendation made sure to list several key words like: "Ruby", "Rails","Ruby on Rails". Between LinkedIn,,  and I was getting around 20-25 emails a week from recruiters asking for my resume in word format and more information about my background. Half of the jobs would require relocating to another state which I didn't want to do.

I also had several people on Twitter ask me how much I wanted as a salary and would I consider relocating. One offer almost had me packing up and moving. I decided to give the Northern Va area 1 more month and then if nothing still had finalized I would consider moving, thankfully it didn't come to that.

Hopefully that brings you up to speed on what I was doing/dealing with during that 2.5 month period besides working full time,  studying,  and trying to get hired. The hardest part doing this period of time was that it was Summer, and I was super busy everyday shoeing horses, and had a VERY hard time keeping up with my weekly hourly goals.

I am loving writing my ebook, I think I can speed up anyone trying to become a junior developer quite a bit, half of my problem was never knowing what exactly I should be working on, and switching back and forth wasting a lot of time. Anyway,  I'll keep you posted,  more to come on interviewing.